I proudly carry the church cell phone, which means I get a call every once in a while about churchy stuff. Normally, the modus operandi is to gently inquire as to the intended target of the call, since our church shares a name with a big church in Seattle, an even bigger church in Michigan, a whole group of new Baptist church plants and countless other churches I don’t know about, plus an NPR-type CD series and a DVD series of hip sermons. So my mind is normally racing, and I’m trying to find a way to make sure that the person means to call “the Mars Hill Church in Northern Virginia?”
But the most recent call was right on target. Well, mostly.
Kind Female Caller: Can I speak to someone who knows a lot about Mars Hill Church?
Me: (tentatively) Well, maybe I can help you.
KFC: I live in Vienna (right on!) and I was hoping to use your parking lot. We’re trying to have a yard sale next weekend.
Me: (relieved) Oh, I’m very sorry. We’d love to help you, but we don’t have a parking lot, or any property.
KFC: (with slight emphasis) …Well…I’m just hoping to use your parking lot. For a yard sale.
Me: (smiling) Right; I understand. But our church just rents a coffee house to use for our weekly services. We don’t have a building or a parking lot.
KFC: (insistently) But it says right here, Mars Hill Church!
Me: (suddenly philosophical, and slightly pedantic) Well, we are a church; we just don’t happen to own any property.
KFC: (with resignation, and consternation) OK. ‘bye.